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Tuesday, December 10

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Concert Tue Feb 16 2010

An(other) Index of Metals

Zev.jpg

Nearly three years to the day since his last Chicago appearance (which itself was his first Chicago performance in 25 years), industrial shaman/percussionist Z'EV will return to Wicker Park's Enemy space (1550 N. Milwaukee) to again tingle the ears and brain stem with his rumpled metals and steely gaze.

If you missed him the last time, Z'EV enthralled a packed house at Enemy with a variety of interlocking strategies: a gong played to reverberate into a suspended bass drum, creating sympathetic drones; assorted shakers and rattlers which were massed to create huge insectoid swarms; and, most evocatively, a bent and textured sheet of metal (drawn over with runic symbols and pathways) resonated to life via a rubber ball on a stick. Z'EV hovered over his devices like a medicine man deep in trance, and his attacks were aimed consciously into the corner of the room, bouncing back into the audience with strange trails and secondary beats. With no electronic processing or even amplification, Z'EV created an immersive environment, riveting the audience and casting stunned silence even during the moments between movements.

If you need a sample, here's a 3-minute collage of the performance on Youtube. The sound is captured remarkably well given the medium, but nothing will prepare you for the full in-person experience.

Opening up are two generations of Chicago experimental music. Travis Bird and Dan Burke (the latter being the founder of legendary industrial/noise unit Illusion of Safety) use the two-guitar-plus-effects format as a canvas on which to paint their mix of John Fahey-into-Keith-Rowe pastoral abstraction; and local mainstay Blake Edwards again brings his Vertonen project to construct strange new edifices of audio gravel and celestial static. His latest CD, We've Had A Few Sprinkles Today, But Not Enough To Help Out In The Garden, takes raw sound and research materials from Jim Jones' People's Temple, consciously and fastidiously removing the 'cult' and 'terror' elements to create a simulation of mundane reality with just the barest traces of felt-but-not-obvious unease. While I'm unaware of any Bird/Burke recordings currently available, Perdition Plastics has just reissued the legendary Illusion of Safety CD, Probe, which features a young Jim O'Rourke as co-conspirator and primary force in the project's turn toward startling tape-editing concepts.

The doors open at 9 p.m., show starts at 10:30, and admission is $10.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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